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Sanctuary Nightmares: The Injustice of US Immigration Policy

Rosamond Chung January 19, 2020


With the situation of “illegal immigrants” coming into the United States, it is no wonder that sanctuary cities have arisen as its forefront dilemma. It is also hardly surprising that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents have been under fire by the left. Matthew Albence, director of ICE, believes that not allowing these agents to arrest illegal immigrants are driving down the overall arrests of serious criminals. In spite of this, we must not forget about the founding principles of the United States. The country was built on the foundation of immigrants, which makes the idea of deporting random immigrants to be utterly despicable.

A sanctuary city could be described in two ways. One definition is that they are “cities, counties, or states that don't fully comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts.” The other would be that jurisdictions are labelled as such because “their jails prohibit employees from asking federal immigration authorities about a detainee's immigration status.” Either way, the use of sanctuary cities as a safe haven for illegal immigrants makes it an area of debate.

During Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he said that Mexicans are "rapists" and "bring crime". Trump administration officials have proposed the idea of transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities.

Ashley Etienne, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokeswoman, says, “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.” Not only is the game Trump is trying to play not working, but Trump’s immigration agenda is not about keeping the country safe. It is about beating the Democrats and breaking up families.

With this said, the people of Tucson, Arizona would disagree. By a 70% margin, Tucson residents rejected Prop 205 which would have made the city a sanctuary city. Although the city leans Democratic, Trump supporters outvoted them in the end. Other states including Florida have banned the creation of sanctuary cities in their state. “More than 30 bills related to sanctuary policies — both for and against them — are pending across the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, California, said, “I don’t build walls. It’s our job to welcome everyone into our city, ensure their safety, ensure that their families can thrive. And that is my job no matter where those people came from or how they got there.” The United States is supposed to be a place where every single person living in the country has rights. It doesn’t matter how they got here, it’s about what they do to help the country. The attacks by Trump and his administration is an indication to everyone that the injustice by the federal government must be fought against.